The mother of a 12-year-old girl, Sunnah Khan, who tragically died after encountering difficulties in the water off Bournemouth beach, has expressed her heartbreak on social media. Sunnah was one of two victims in the incident, the other being 17-year-old Joe Abbess. Eight more people were injured in the event.
Stephanie Williams, Sunnah’s mother, shared her grief on Twitter, stating, “On Wednesday, I lost my beautiful daughter at Bournemouth beach. Sunnah was so well loved and well-liked. No parent should ever have to go through what her dad and I are going through. We love you so much, baby girl.”
A man in his 40s, who was on the water at the time, was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter. He was released under investigation on Thursday while police inquiries continue. Both Joe and Sunnah were rescued from the sea but later died in the hospital. Joe hailed from Southampton, while Sunnah was from Buckinghamshire.
Local MP Tobias Ellwood criticised the police for their lack of clarity, saying it led to “wild speculation” on social media. The police have stated that they are keeping an “open mind” about the circumstances that led to the deaths. Dorset’s police and crime commissioner, David Sidwick, informed the BBC that although there would be a review of police communication, officers were dealing with a “complex” case.
Over the weekend, inspections continued on the sightseeing boat at the centre of the investigation, as the circumstances around what happened remain unclear. Joe’s family issued a tribute to him through Dorset Police, saying, “We are heartbroken and devastated at the death of our Joe. He was a wonderful son and brother who is sadly missed. His family and friends will always love him, and we are incredibly proud of the fabulous young man he was. He was kind and generous, loving and caring, hardworking and funny.”
Joe was a talented trainee chef with a bright future ahead of him. His family expressed their sorrow that he would never have the chance to fulfil his dreams and ambitions.
Dorset Police received a report from paramedics at about 4.30pm on Wednesday afternoon of people requiring assistance on the beach near Bournemouth Pier. Emergency services attended the scene, and ten people were recovered from the water.
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